Tag Archives: Brown Act

Oakland Privacy Wrote A Really Nice — And Really Powerful — Letter Of Support For Bob Wieckowski’s Minor But Essential SB931 — Which Would Require Local Agencies To Email Copies Of Their Agendas To Members Of The Public On Request — Read It Right Here! — And Think About Writing Your Own!

As you may well remember, earlier this year Senator Bob Wieckowski introduced the small but essential SB931. The Brown Act already requires public agencies to mail copies of agendas to members of the public on request.1At §54954.1 This bill would require them to email them if asked to.

It’s very strange but sadly true that there are plenty of little backwater agencies, mostly business improvement districts and charter schools, who are so intent on obstruction that they will refuse to email agendas even though it’s free, even though they already email agendas to people they approve of. They will insist that the law only requires them to mail agendas.

And don’t get me started on how they send them via certified mail so that if people miss the first delivery it’s essentially too late to find out what the meeting is about. And if it’s a special meeting? Or if someone’s unhoused and doesn’t have reliable mail service? Forget it. So like I said, this is a minor problem, something these agencies ought to be doing anyway but some of them just won’t and Wieckowski’s bill will fix it.

As far as I know there’s no organized opposition. I mean, what are they going to say? That they enjoy exploiting this unfortunate loophole to mess with people? But there’s a lot of support! I already wrote about the letter sent by our friends at the Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition. The California News Publishers Association sent a nice little letter. And just the other day I learned that Oakland Privacy, a group I hadn’t heard of before this, wrote a really extraordinary, really dynamic letter in support.

You can read the entire thing below, but they raise a really important point that no other support letter has brought out in such detail. That’s the fact that if members of the public want to monitor the agendas of many local agencies to see if they want to comment on specific items, essentially their only practical choice right now is to check the agencies’ websites regularly.

For people or groups that monitor tens or hundreds of agencies this is not only time-consuming but also unreliable. Requiring notifications by email would solve this problem. Anyway, as I said, read on for the full letter, and if you have a moment, why not drop Wieckowski a line or call him in support yourself?
Continue reading Oakland Privacy Wrote A Really Nice — And Really Powerful — Letter Of Support For Bob Wieckowski’s Minor But Essential SB931 — Which Would Require Local Agencies To Email Copies Of Their Agendas To Members Of The Public On Request — Read It Right Here! — And Think About Writing Your Own!

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The Brown Act Already Requires Local Agencies To Mail Agendas To Members Of The Public On Request — Senator Bob Wieckowski’s SB931 Would Amend The Law To Require Them To Send Via Email If Asked — Which You’d Think They Would Want To Do Anyway Because It’s Cheaper — And Easier — And More Efficient — But They’d Rather Obstruct — And Delay — And Create Friction — So This Law Is — Sadly — Necessary — And The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Is Supporting It!

It’s so darn bandied-about that it’s become easy to forget that Abraham Lincoln’s perfect description of the American form of government,1 or at least its to-be-constantly-striven-for ideal form, as “of the people, by the people, for the people” has a great deal of meaning packed into it. In particular, if government is to be of and for the people then the people have to have access to the spaces in which its work is done and advance notice of when it’s happening.

And governments being what they are2 they would often prefer to keep people out of the process entirely by making their decisions and doing their work in secret. To prevent this, to preserve Lincoln’s ideal, we need laws to protect our access. In California such access is protected by the Brown Act.

One of the rights protected by the Brown Act is the right to have notice of the time, place, and subject matter of upcoming meetings. This protection comes in two forms. First, §54594.2 requires agendas to be posted in public and on the web 72 hours before a meeting.3 But of course, this is only sufficient if you remember to check the posting location or the website. If you don’t or can’t do that you’re out of luck.
Continue reading The Brown Act Already Requires Local Agencies To Mail Agendas To Members Of The Public On Request — Senator Bob Wieckowski’s SB931 Would Amend The Law To Require Them To Send Via Email If Asked — Which You’d Think They Would Want To Do Anyway Because It’s Cheaper — And Easier — And More Efficient — But They’d Rather Obstruct — And Delay — And Create Friction — So This Law Is — Sadly — Necessary — And The Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Is Supporting It!

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The Accelerated Schools Issue A Complete — Utter — Abject Capitulation To My Demand That They Stop Violating The Damn Brown Act By Illegally Requiring People To Sign In As A Condition Of Attendance — They Unconditionally Commit Never To Do It Any More Ever Again — And Wayne K. Strumpfer — Their Lying Ideologue Of A Lawyer — Asserts That They Were Only Ever Making People Sign In Because It Prevents School Shootings — Which Sounds Not Only Implausible To Me But Actually Moronic — But Probably That’s Only Because I’m Not A Galaxy Brain Privatizing Charter Genius Like Strumpfer And His Clients

In October 2019, as you may recall, the infamous white savior rogue charter conspiracy known as The Accelerated Schools held a board meeting at which they committed three distinct and shocking violations of California’s quintessential government transparency law, the Brown Act. One of the most appalling of this series of thoroughly appalling transgressions was their requirement that members of the public sign their names to a sheet in order to enter the public meeting.

This, of course, is explicitly forbidden by the Brown Act at §54953.3.1 TAS attempted to excuse this outlawry by claiming that they weren’t requiring a signature to attend the meeting, but just to enter the school grounds on which the meeting was being held. This is nonsense, of course, but nevertheless typical of the kind of empty technical loopholes that arrogant privileged zillionaires and their minions seem to believe are all it takes for them to evade their legal obligations.2

And so on December 18, 2019, in accordance with the procedures mandated by the Brown Act,3 I sent them a letter demanding that they unconditionally commit never to ever require people to sign in to attend their meetings and informing them that if they didn’t completely obey me within 30 days I was going to file a petition asking a judge to (metaphorically) slap some damn sense into them.

And lo! Just yesterday, TAS’s metaphorically mobbed up lawyer Wayne K. Strumpfer of privatizing powerhouse law firm Young Minney & Corr, who’s basically a liar and enabler of outlawry but evidently knows a losing position when his clients manage to back themselves into one, sent me a letter utterly and abjectly capitulating to my demand!

But before he got around to the utter abjection Dr. Strumpfer went on and on and on explaining to me that The Accelerated Schools actually did nothing wrong, that I pretty much made everything up, that his clients only acted according to the very highest motivations, and that requiring people to sign in to attend meetings is how TAS prevents school shootings! And I guess that that’s working because as far as I know they haven’t had any.

On that subject, it’s interesting that Strumpfer doesn’t say a word about the fact that TAS chooses to have its meetings on school grounds during school hours when schoolchildren are present even after parents have been pleading with the board literally for years to have meetings in the evening so that working people have a chance to attend. One might think that having meetings at times when no kids were around would be a more effective way to protect the kids than having people sign a piece of paper, but admittedly I know nothing whatsoever about whatever kind of eleven dimensional galaxy brain hypercrapola in which these TAS people and their shyster lawyer have earned an average of 2.7 Ph.Ds each.4

In any case Dr. Wayne finally gets around to the actual point, which is that they don’t want to get sued by me so dammit, they concede everything! The only actual concrete effect of this concession5 is that if they ever require people to sign in to their meetings I can sue them without giving them notice or even asking them to stop. Which I totally will do, by the way! So that’s a little victory over the satanic minions of privatization. Read on for a complete transcription of Wayne K. Strumpfer’s jittery little surrender letter!
Continue reading The Accelerated Schools Issue A Complete — Utter — Abject Capitulation To My Demand That They Stop Violating The Damn Brown Act By Illegally Requiring People To Sign In As A Condition Of Attendance — They Unconditionally Commit Never To Do It Any More Ever Again — And Wayne K. Strumpfer — Their Lying Ideologue Of A Lawyer — Asserts That They Were Only Ever Making People Sign In Because It Prevents School Shootings — Which Sounds Not Only Implausible To Me But Actually Moronic — But Probably That’s Only Because I’m Not A Galaxy Brain Privatizing Charter Genius Like Strumpfer And His Clients

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In June 2018 The United Teachers Of Los Angeles Sent A Brown Act Demand Letter To Excelencia Charter Academy – Which In Case You Forgot Is That Co-Located Boyle Heights Horror Show That Galaxy-Brained Carpetbagger Ruben Alonzo Proclaims Himself To Be The Founder Of – And Most Interestingly LAUSD’s Charter School Division Got In On The Process And Demanded That Excelencia Hand Over A Bunch Of Evidence About UTLA’s Allegations – And Here Are Copies Of Everything! – Along With A Bunch Of Emails Between Alonzo And His Privatizing Sleazeball Of A Lying Lawyer – Wayne Strumpfer Of Young Minney Corr – Plotting Out Line By Line How They’re Gonna Respond – Important And Unprecedented Look Behind The Curtain At Charter School Deliberations Over Transparency Laws!

It turns out that in June 2018 the United Teachers of Los Angeles sent a letter to Ruben Alonzo, galaxy-brained creepy-stalky founder of the co-locational privatizer conspiracy known as Excelencia Charter Academy, demanding that his organization cease, desist, and cut it the heck out with all the Brown Act violations they had been getting up to. This story is revealed by a collection of emails I recently obtained from Excelencia via the California Public Records Act, which are available here on Archive.Org.

UTLA accused Excelencia, with good reason, of “engag[ing] in a pattern of secrecy by holding meetings at locations inaccessible to the public,” specifically to do with, among some other things, board members teleconferencing into putatively public meetings, a practice which is allowed by the Brown Act but only in a highly constrained way.1 In addition to demanding that Excelencia cut it out, UTLA also demanded that they fix some of the errors and additionally publicly promise never to do those things again.2 They also sent a copy of the letter to LAUSD’s Charter School Division.

On receipt Alonzo’s first move was to forward the letter not only to his board members, but to Keith Dell’Aquila and Josue Cofresi, a couple of flacks at the California Charter Schools Association, to ask their advice. Which was, obviously, to ask a damn lawyer. Alonzo proceeded to hit up this blog’s old friend Wayne K. Strumpfer, of counsel3 to privatizing law powerhouse Young Minney Corr. Strumpfer didn’t take anywhere near the statutorily allowed 30 days to drop a letter on UTLA containing complete and utter concessions to their list of demands.

And most interestingly from my point of view, seeking as I always am, seemingly in vain, nonjudicial remedies for outlaw charter school behavior,4 the Charter School Division sent a letter to Excelencia demanding that they respond in detail to UTLA’s allegations. And Excelencia did take this requirement seriously. I have also complained to the CSD about various charter school violations and they brushed me off, but nevertheless I am glad to learn that there is some kind of channel for LAUSD to handle such complaints.

And after much back and forth Strumpfer wrote a letter for Excelencia Board President Ana Lasso to sign her name to capitulating to their demands in that way lawyers for outlaw government agencies have of agreeing to stop breaking the law even as they assert on every possible level that they have never actually done anything wrong.

That’s the short version, but the emails themselves reveal a lot of detail about the process that Excelencia went through in responding to UTLA’s demands. This is important in itself because, as we know, these charters can not, will not, follow the law if left to their own devices. I’ve sent a number of these demands, including two to The Accelerated Schools which are still pending,5 and it’s interesting to get some insight into what kinds of things are going on behind the scenes. Read on for the long version of the story with links and transcribed selections!
Continue reading In June 2018 The United Teachers Of Los Angeles Sent A Brown Act Demand Letter To Excelencia Charter Academy – Which In Case You Forgot Is That Co-Located Boyle Heights Horror Show That Galaxy-Brained Carpetbagger Ruben Alonzo Proclaims Himself To Be The Founder Of – And Most Interestingly LAUSD’s Charter School Division Got In On The Process And Demanded That Excelencia Hand Over A Bunch Of Evidence About UTLA’s Allegations – And Here Are Copies Of Everything! – Along With A Bunch Of Emails Between Alonzo And His Privatizing Sleazeball Of A Lying Lawyer – Wayne Strumpfer Of Young Minney Corr – Plotting Out Line By Line How They’re Gonna Respond – Important And Unprecedented Look Behind The Curtain At Charter School Deliberations Over Transparency Laws!

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Another Day – Another Demand – Again To The Accelerated Schools – Again Over A Brown Act Violation – But This Is More Serious Because I Am Insisting That They Go Back And Have A Do-Over – But Do It Legally This Time – Or – As Always With Such Matters – Face The Seething Wrath Of The Los Angeles County Superior Court!

Of course you remember The Accelerated Schools! That white savior charter conspiracy out in the 90037? And how a couple days ago we served them with a lawsuit seeking to compel their compliance with the California Public Records Act? And yesterday I sent them a letter demanding that they unconditionally commit to never any more requiring members of the public sign in to their damn meetings, that practice being totally and utterly illegal under the Brown Act?

And maybe you recall also how that whole sign-in thing was not the only Brown Act violating practice that these privatizers habitually indulge in? In fact, on October 24, 2019 they violated the law by holding two distinct secret meetings, neither of which was agendized and for neither of which they allowed public comment. So since evidently this is what we’re doing around here this week, today I sent them yet another demand letter regarding these grave violations of the law.

As with yesterday’s letter, today’s includes a demand that they unconditionally cease, desist, never do no more again, and so on, these violations. But also there’s a demand that they rescind these illegal decisions, reconvene the meetings, and do them over again legally. This would require them to announce whatever it is they’re going to consider, allow public comment, and then vote in public. This is an aspect of the Brown Act that I have not used before, so it will be interesting to see what happens! And, as always, read on for a transcription of the letter.
Continue reading Another Day – Another Demand – Again To The Accelerated Schools – Again Over A Brown Act Violation – But This Is More Serious Because I Am Insisting That They Go Back And Have A Do-Over – But Do It Legally This Time – Or – As Always With Such Matters – Face The Seething Wrath Of The Los Angeles County Superior Court!

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The Latest Episode In My Newly Revived Brown Act Enforcement Project – A Demand Letter To The Accelerated Schools Insisting That They Unconditionally Commit To Cease – And Desist – And Give A Hard Pass To – And Cut It The Heck Out With – Their Completely Illegal Practice Of Requiring Members Of The Public To Sign A Damn List Before Attending Their Board Meetings – Now They Have 30 Days To Surrender Unconditionally Or Else Face A Heaping Dollop Of Judicial Wrath! – To Be Served Up – If Necessary Of Course – By My Crack Team Of Litigation Specialists!

You might remember that in October that that white savior charter conspiracy, incidentally just yesterday served with a lawsuit seeking to enforce the California Public Records Act, known as The Accelerated Schools went and violated the Brown Act by requiring members of the public to sign in as a condition of attending their abortive board meeting, which was cut short by then-president Juli Quinn, acting impulsively in a fit of petulant rage at the insubordination1 of the audience.

Requiring people to sign in is forbidden by the Brown Act at § 54953.3 And you might also remember that one of the remedies for violations provided by the act2 is that a member of the public write to the violators requesting an unconditional commitment never in the future to violate the law in that particular manner.3 If they capitulate in the specified manner then there are extra consequences if they break their promise later. And if they don’t capitulate I get to sue them.

And finally, maybe you remember that last year I was sending a lot of these demand letters to business improvement districts. Priorities and lack of capacity forced me to lay that project aside for a while4 but it turns out, fortunately, that I have the resources to hold the tender toesies of some of these egregiously violating charter schools to the proverbial-ish flames, and thus, if you’re wondering, is the subject of this evening’s post this very letter right here, sent this very day to The Accelerated Schools, demanding that they stop with their nonsensical sign-in requirements. Now they have 30 days to give in or else!

The letter is transcribed below, but before we go there I just want to point out one important thing that was too qualitative to make it into the demand but is nevertheless really crucial. Here you can watch video of the incident which precipitated my demand. This is an employee of The Accelerated Schools telling me that I wasn’t required to sign my name to attend the meeting but rather was required to sign my name to enter the campus on which the meeting was held.
Continue reading The Latest Episode In My Newly Revived Brown Act Enforcement Project – A Demand Letter To The Accelerated Schools Insisting That They Unconditionally Commit To Cease – And Desist – And Give A Hard Pass To – And Cut It The Heck Out With – Their Completely Illegal Practice Of Requiring Members Of The Public To Sign A Damn List Before Attending Their Board Meetings – Now They Have 30 Days To Surrender Unconditionally Or Else Face A Heaping Dollop Of Judicial Wrath! – To Be Served Up – If Necessary Of Course – By My Crack Team Of Litigation Specialists!

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Ruben Alonzo — Carpetbagging Galaxy-Brained Founder Of Excelencia Charter Academy In Boyle Heights — Co-Located On The Campus Of Sunrise Elementary School — Surveilled, Stalked, And Photographed Anti-Charter Protester Mimi Duncanson — And Tried — Unsuccessfully — To Get The Cops To Tow Her Car — And Pretty Likely Violated The Brown Act To Prevent Her From Learning Of Impending Teacher Firings At Excelencia — And This Is The Kind Of Amoral Grifter The State Of California Entrusts With The Lives Of Small Defenseless Children

Excelencia Charter Academy is yet another creepy little charter school run by yet another shockingly unqualified creepy little galaxy-brained grifter, this one known as Ruben Alonzo, going about the place making creepy little announcements of delusionally impending disruptive excellence while lining his creepy little pockets with public money1 at the expense of the actual human children that the state legislature, for reasons they’re going to have to answer for eventually, has seen fit to place into his care.

In this regard Alonzo is much like Sakshi Jain, shockingly unqualified founder of the ill-fated GANAS Academy, whose plan to co-locate on the campus of Catskill Elementary School conjured up such a monumental hurricane of activist opposition and scorn that, it appears, she has had to put her school’s opening on hold while she slinks back to her lair to soothe her metaphorical wounds with a salve made of equal parts boorish self-pity and Walton family megabucks.

Unlike Jain, though, Alonzo did actually manage to open his school. In the Fall of 2018 as it happens and, like Jain’s fiasco, co-located, in this case on the campus of Sunrise Elementary School in Boyle Heights. And like Jain’s folly Alonzo’s weirdo little project conjured up some opposition, most publicly from Sunrise Elementary teacher Mimi Guzman-Duncanson.

Duncanson famously parked her SUV out in front of the school covered in flyers advertising the appalling lack of qualifications of Excelencia’s teachers, let alone Ruben Alonzo, the self-proclaimed founder. Duncanson’s protest was covered in the Los Angeles Times and by Jason McGahan, writing in The Baffler.

You can see a picture of Maestra Duncanson2 with her minivan somewhere near this sentence.That picture and another like it came from a huge set of emails released to me recently by Alonzo pursuant to the California Public Records Act.3 And if it looks like hostile photography, like surveillance, well, that’s because that’s precisely what it is. It turns out that aggressively callow hellbaby Ruben Alonzo just could not deal with the fact that anyone at all dared to question his galaxy-brained 29 year old self.

These emails reveal that Alonzo hated and feared the truth to such an extent that not only did he stalk and surveill her, take hostile photographs of her, not only did he whine about her to every reporter who’d sit still long enough, but he tried to convince police to tow Duncanson’s protest van, although they refused.

He also arranged for police presence at his school for the first few days of operation because of his hatred and fear of protesters. He almost certainly also violated the Brown Act by emailing information about firing two teachers to his board of directors in advance of the meeting, explicitly stating that he was doing so in order to keep Duncanson from learning it. You can find PDFs of the relevant emails here, and read on for quotes and links!
Continue reading Ruben Alonzo — Carpetbagging Galaxy-Brained Founder Of Excelencia Charter Academy In Boyle Heights — Co-Located On The Campus Of Sunrise Elementary School — Surveilled, Stalked, And Photographed Anti-Charter Protester Mimi Duncanson — And Tried — Unsuccessfully — To Get The Cops To Tow Her Car — And Pretty Likely Violated The Brown Act To Prevent Her From Learning Of Impending Teacher Firings At Excelencia — And This Is The Kind Of Amoral Grifter The State Of California Entrusts With The Lives Of Small Defenseless Children

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GANAS Academy Founder Sakshi Jain Emails Now Available — Showing A Pattern Of Increasing Anxiety And Paranoia About Anti-Co-Location Activists — Appeals To LAUSD To Punish Catskill Elementary Employees Who Seemed To Oppose Co-Location — Discussions With The California Charter School Association On Media Strategy — Wild Accusations Of “borderline libelous and slanderous accusations – not just about the Founder, but about the school as well” — Whatever The Hell That Means — Resignation Of A Board Member Who Did Not Want “to be villainized by the community [he] was hoping to help” — Other Essential Information — Including A Potential Brown Act Violation In February 2019 — Read All A-Freaking-Bout It!

Here’s more on the anti-colocation battle being fought by a brave and devoted band of teachers and parents at Catskill Elementary School in the City of Carson against impending plans to install upstart charter school GANAS Academy on their campus. I have been investigating this story using requests made to GANAS via the California Public Records Act.1 And just recently these GANASsholes handed over a trove and a half of goodies. You can read about the video over here, and today we’re talking about the emails, which, as always, are where the serious action is. Browse them yourself, of course, or download the whole damn stack of them, right here on Archive.Org.2

And today I’m just going to run through a few highlights with transcriptions and a little light commentary. They paint a revealing picture of the effect that the anti-co-location protests have been having on GANAS, with at least one board member having resigned when he became aware of the intensity of the animosity towards his charter school. They also show the growing anxiety, shading into abject paranoia, of galaxy-brained GANAS founder and head of school3 Sakshi Jain as it became increasingly clear to her that she was in for a long and bitter struggle, and that there wasn’t really much help forthcoming from either LAUSD or the California Charter School Association.
Continue reading GANAS Academy Founder Sakshi Jain Emails Now Available — Showing A Pattern Of Increasing Anxiety And Paranoia About Anti-Co-Location Activists — Appeals To LAUSD To Punish Catskill Elementary Employees Who Seemed To Oppose Co-Location — Discussions With The California Charter School Association On Media Strategy — Wild Accusations Of “borderline libelous and slanderous accusations – not just about the Founder, but about the school as well” — Whatever The Hell That Means — Resignation Of A Board Member Who Did Not Want “to be villainized by the community [he] was hoping to help” — Other Essential Information — Including A Potential Brown Act Violation In February 2019 — Read All A-Freaking-Bout It!

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That Time In 2018 When Wallis Locke Told Ellen Riotto How The South Park BID Could Just Ignore The Brown Act By Putting Some Magic Words On The Agenda — Cause The Foothill Municipal Water District Did It — So Anyone Could Do It — Even The South Park BID — But Then Ellen Riotto — Being Uncharacteristically Prudent — Asked Carol Humiston If It Was OK — And Carol Humiston Was All Like No Freaking Way That Is Crazy! — Except She Said It Nicer Cause After All They Are Paying Her A Lot Of Damn Money!

It’s basically very easy for public government agencies such as business improvement districts to comply with the Brown Act. All they have to do is not be sneaky and stop trying to hide what they’re doing from the public. But of course, that concept is actually impossible for BIDdies to understand, so they’re perennially surprised by what the law requires of them. The general zillionaire rule of statutory interpretation, which is to assume that laws do in fact say whatever rich white people imagine that they ought to say, is accurate 99.99% of the time, but it fails with the Brown Act for some reason.1

Which is why about this time last year we were spending a lot of blog time educating Ellen Riotto, executive directrix of the South Park BID, about the duties required of her organization by the Brown Act. She’d schedule a closed session but wouldn’t explain what the Board was going to talk about during it and I’d be like no, can’t do that, and she’d be like OK thank you for pointing that out! And then she’d be all like board members are going to phone into the meeting from random unannounced locations around the globe and I’d be like no, can’t do that, and she’d be like OK thank you for pointing that out!

And now, thanks to some emails kindly supplied to me in response to a request for public records by the South Park BIDdies, I can reveal for the first time that there was at least one other instance in early 2018 when Ellen Riotto completely misunderstood the Brown Act and was on the verge of implementing yet another completely illegal policy. Wallis Locke sent an email to Ellen Riotto and was all like I know a guy named Dan and he’s involved with the Foothill Municipal Water District and they have some kind of voodoo on their agendas that basically lets them talk about whatever they want to without having to announce it publicly in advance!

And Ellen Riotto was all like I wanna get me some of that! The voodoo, by the way, has to do with the fact that the Brown Act at §54954.2(b) allows public government agencies like BIDs to make last minute additions to their agendas if there is an actual emergency. However, in this case, maybe because my constant scrutiny made her a little more circumspect, she decided to ask the BID’s attorney Ms. Carol Humiston if her theory was a good one.

And Ms. Humiston, despite the fact that she’s famous for counseling her clients to violate the law at every opportunity in contravention of the enforceable expectations of both God and the California State Bar, was all like WHOA! Emergencies mean like earthquakes, fires, and so on! Not some booshwah that you just made up! You can’t freaking do that and you would be crazy even to try so step back from the ledge! And Ellen Riotto was like darn it! But step back from the ledge she did, leaving nothing but this email conversation, a transcription of which you can find after the break!
Continue reading That Time In 2018 When Wallis Locke Told Ellen Riotto How The South Park BID Could Just Ignore The Brown Act By Putting Some Magic Words On The Agenda — Cause The Foothill Municipal Water District Did It — So Anyone Could Do It — Even The South Park BID — But Then Ellen Riotto — Being Uncharacteristically Prudent — Asked Carol Humiston If It Was OK — And Carol Humiston Was All Like No Freaking Way That Is Crazy! — Except She Said It Nicer Cause After All They Are Paying Her A Lot Of Damn Money!

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Donald “El Duckie” Duckworth — Pirate King Of The Melrose Avenue BID — Takes Himself And His BIDdie Buddies Out To Lunch On The BID’s Dime All The Freaking Time — And Probably Violates The Brown Act While He’s Doing It — Think I’m Exaggerating? — Try $133 For A Committee Meeting At Off Vine — A Restaurant That Is Not In The Melrose BID — So It’s Illegal For The BID To Meet There — And Why The Hell Don’t They Buy Their Own Lunch?!

It’s been a damn month now since last I wrote about BIDological freak show specimen Donald R. Duckworth, the pirate king1 of the Melrose Avenue Business Improvement District. But it’s El Duckie’s own damn fault that he’s not getting the publicity he craves from MK.Org.

For whatever reason, the baleful influence of Carol Humiston, his own mulishly porcine intransigence, something as-yet-unguessed-at, he is chronically unable to comply with the tender mandates of the California Public Records Act. And I can’t very well mock him without public records, the very fuel and the flavor of MK.Org-style mockery.2

But recently I managed to lay hands on an interesting set of goodies, which are all of El Duckie’s requests for reimbursement from Melrose BID coffers for the last few years.3 I originally asked for these because last summer the property owners of Melrose were in open and fiery rebellion against the Duckworthian regime and one of the underlying causes was Duckworth’s irrepressible profligacy.

If you don’t want to or can’t read the PDF, there’s an html conversion at the end of this post.4 And it reveals that Duckworth and his BIDdie buddies, most especially the notorious Weintraub gang, Deny and Sylvia, are indeed basically flinging the property owners’ assessments to the winds like rain.5

Just for instance, on January 19, 2018 the BID bought Duckworth, the Weintraubs, and a couple other BIDdies lunch to the tune of $122.09. Sure, that’s not over the top for lunch for five, but why is the BID buying lunch in the first place? I have to go to work meetings all the damn time and no one buys me lunch. But I, for my part, have to ask an accountant for permission. Donald R. Duckwalk just has to ask Deny Weintraub, and Deny Weintraub is right there at the trough with him.

Or see on November 29, 2017 when The Duckster put in for $75.07 for a “work session” with Kim Sudhalter. Kim Sudhalter is the BID’s social media flunkie, so she already gets paid for the work she does. As does Donald R. Duckandcover. So what was the 75 bucks for? More food for the work session? The usual arrangement, Duckfellow, is to pay for your own food when you’re working.

And there are plenty of these instances, where Duckworth, the Weintraubs, and sometimes an unindicted co-conspirator or two, will go out to lunch at some ritzy place and charge it off to the BID. But the most egregious of these are the ones that are labeled as committee meetings. Because, as we know, the BID is bound by the Brown Act, and the Brown Act has very strict rules about where and how committee meetings can be held. And it’s likely that these violate them.

In particular, on September 1, 2017 Duckworth, the Weintraubs, and Kim Sudhalter spent $133.89 on lunch at a committee meeting at Off Vine, a super-ritz joint near the southeast corner of Vine and Sunset. This is highly problematic, friends, and turn the page to see why!
Continue reading Donald “El Duckie” Duckworth — Pirate King Of The Melrose Avenue BID — Takes Himself And His BIDdie Buddies Out To Lunch On The BID’s Dime All The Freaking Time — And Probably Violates The Brown Act While He’s Doing It — Think I’m Exaggerating? — Try $133 For A Committee Meeting At Off Vine — A Restaurant That Is Not In The Melrose BID — So It’s Illegal For The BID To Meet There — And Why The Hell Don’t They Buy Their Own Lunch?!

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